Brighton Whole Foods gears up to open next year, developers give tour of site

Development

BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — After years of setbacks and legal battles, the new Whole Foods store and accompanying plaza are finally taking shape in Brighton on Monroe Avenue.

The Daniele family first submitted paperwork to erect a Whole Foods in 2014.

Now, seven years later things are finally starting to look like the project they envisioned. 

“We’ve been able to persevere through and what you see behind us is the Whole Foods building,” Danny Daniele of Daniele Family Companies said.

By this time next year, Danny Daniele says the grocery store should be open. The entire effort was extensively delayed due to lawsuits, the pandemic and the current supply chain crisis. 

According to Anthony Daniele, excitement is growing and the new location was constructed with anticipated foot traffic in mind. 

“We built the place so that it’s pedestrian-friendly and we expect Whole Foods to be busy,” Anthony said.

In addition, a brand new plaza will accompany Whole Foods in development. The location is set to be build next to the supermarket and will host nationally-recognized businesses.

“This building and the entire project, the way it’s designed, is to improve the view of the entrance of Brighton,” Mario said.

Picture of the plaza under construction to be placed next to the upcoming Whole Foods store. (WROC)

Prior to the project, the area was mostly made up of a an old bowling alley and gas stations. Now, a Starbucks has already opened up on the site. 

Nearby residents raised concerns about the on-ramp and anticipated congestion. The new owners however believe those issues will be largely mitigated.

“I think everyone’s been surprised with how well Monroe Avenue is flowing right now,” Danny said.

The Auburn trail behind the development has also been preserved and expanded. The family says the pathway will connect three communities: Brighton, Pittsford and the downtown Rochester.

Mario says next year when you come to the Whole Foods store and plaza, he’ll be there waiting for you, and you won’t just be another number.

“Come on in! Be my special guest!,” Mario said.

While an official completion date has yet to be released, the site is projected to fully open for customers at the midpoint of 2022.

A representative of Brighton Grassroots– a group opposed to the project– did reach out to News 8 and said judges told the Daniele Family to ‘build at their own risk’. They said the court is still deciding this case and the retail space might have to be made smaller.

“The Developer may be rushing forward to complete construction of this Plaza, but that doesn’t mean it will be able to open the plaza next year.  The Court has ruled that BGR has a likelihood of success on the merits and two different judges have warned the Developer that if it builds the plaza anyway, it does so at its own risk.  BGR is confident that the Court will order the Developer to reduce the project size- make it smaller and lessen the traffic nightmare that the oversized plaza poses to our community,” says Howie Jacobson of Brighton Grassroots.

The Daniele Family gives News 8 a tour of the development site.

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